Cleaning your microwave is an essential task in weekly kitchen maintenance to help avoid tough to clean, caked on messes and prevent potential mechanical issues caused by soil build up. Regardless if it’s splattered with pasta sauce, encrusted with burnt-on cheese or slick with oil from leftover fries, learn how to clean your microwave’s interior and exterior in three easy steps.

How to clean your microwave

The tools you’ll need to clean up quick

  • Microwave-safe container
  • Water
  • Mild dish soap
  • Soft cloth or sponge
  • Vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
  • Appliance cleaner (optional)
Cleaning the interior of a microwave.

Step 1: Clean the inside of your microwave

Loosen hard to remove spills and splatters

Fill a microwave-safe container with 1 cup of water and set the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes to help steam and loosen the stuck-on gunk. Allow to cool, then remove the container and wipe down surfaces with a damp soft cloth or sponge.

Wipe down the microwave cavity

Clean the interior walls with a dilution of mild dish soap and water on a soft cloth or sponge. If you have a model with a stainless steel cavity wipe in the direction of the grain to avoid damage.

Remove soap residue and dry

Wipe down the interior using a damp cloth to rinse surfaces, and dry thoroughly with a microfiber cloth.

Cleaning a microwave turntable.

Step 2: Clean the microwave turntable

If recently used, allow the turntable to cool

Always start with a cool turntable before removing and submerging in water, as a heated one may break from the sudden change in temperature.

Remove turntable and wash

If coated heavily in grime, soak the turntable in mild dish soap and warm water, then use a non-abrasive sponge or dishcloth to hand wash. Some turntables can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but always check your microwave manual before doing so.

Thoroughly dry and put back in place

Once air-dried or wiped with a microfiber cloth, replace the turntable inside the microwave before its next use.

Cleaning the exterior of a microwave.

Step 3: Clean the microwave exterior

Clean exterior surfaces with mild dish soap and water

Wipe down the handle, control panel and exterior with a dilution of water and mild dish soap. Rinse surfaces with clean water and dry with a microfiber cloth. If you have a stainless steel microwave, use the above method or clean with a stainless steel appliance cleaner, like affresh® cleaners. Learn more about how to clean your stainless steel appliances.

Use glass cleaner for window smudges and fingerprints

Spray glass cleaner directly onto a paper towel, then wipe the glass window and glass control panel if you have one, until dry.

Maytag tip icon

Clean your microwave grease filter monthly

If you have a microwave hood combination you’ll find the grease filter on the underside of your microwave oven. Grease filters should be removed and cleaned with mild soap and water or washed in a dishwasher, as instructed in your microwave manual.

Cleaning your microwave with vinegar to remove burnt smells.

How to clean your microwave with vinegar to remove burnt smells

Mix a dilution of water with lemon juice or vinegar

Heat 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or vinegar in a microwave-safe container for 2 to 5 minutes in the microwave oven.

Dry with a microfiber cloth

Once cooled, remove the container and wipe down the interior.

Learn more about cleaning your appliances

Learn how to thoroughly clean your refrigerator inside and out, down to the condenser coils.

Follow these steps once every thirty washes — so clean clothes come out of a clean washer.

Even the hardest working appliances need a little love. Learn how to clean a stove inside and out with this step-by-step guide from Maytag.

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